Stanford Prof: Calling Homework Easy Is A ‘Microaggression’

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Toni Airaksinen Toni Airaksinen is a senior at Barnard College in NYC, and a contributor to Campus Reform, USA TODAY College, and PJ Media. She tweets @Toni_Airaksinen.
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Talking about how easy your homework assignment is could be a microaggression, according to Ruth Starkman, a professor at Stanford University.

Writing for the Huffington Post, Starkman argued that referring to your homework as “easy” could hurt other students’ feelings, since not all students may have found the assignment easy to complete.

“Had you been listening, you might have heard others describe your comment as a ‘microaggression,’ a term coined in 1970 by Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Chester M. Pierce,” Starkman wrote.

Explaining why you found the homework easy could be a microaggression too, because “even if it’s not a lie,” it could also be “a form of bragging.”

“Not everyone went to your high school, had your fortunate circumstances, or such a dazzling delivery room arrival, and even if they did, they might still be suffering because of the genuine challenges of the assignments,” Starkman wrote.

Starkman wrote that because students live in “a world of unevenly distributed knowledge,” they must be careful not to speak carelessly around other students, especially students who are from minority backgrounds.

“People around you, especially people of color and first-gens are moving faster and working harder than most students,” Starkman noted. “Don’t suck down all the air in the room [by talking about how easy an assignment is], make space for others.”

Starkman concludes by telling students that to be virtuous, they have to stop themselves from being ambitious and help other students.

“As Confucius tells it, refraining from ambition alone is not enough to make one virtuous. One has to simultaneously embrace challenges and practice benevolence.”

Starkman did not respond to a request for comment from The Daily Caller.

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